Are consumers at risk from therapists with ‘quicky’ pandemic qualifications?

By Julia Wray | Published: 19-Nov-2021

With redundancies encouraging people to retrain, beauty industry body BABTAC is predicting a rise in dangerous beauty short courses

A UK beauty industry body is warning consumers and beauty therapists about the dangers of sub-standard short courses for treatments including lasers, chemical peels and injectables.

A recent report commissioned by the British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC) – the Report on Self Employment in Personal Care Post-Pandemic – in cooperation with the British Beauty Council, the National Hair and Beauty Federation and the United Kingdom Spa Association, found that ‘quicky’ courses have surged in popularity amid rising levels of unemployment and redundancies in the beauty sector due to the pandemic.

Such courses are attractive to job seekers as they assure trainees they’ll be able to offer services immediately, according to BABTAC.

“These ‘fast-track’, or ‘express’ course providers pride themselves on the notion they can be completed in a matter of hours, sometimes online with no practical observations and often requiring zero prior beauty qualifications,” commented BABTAC CEO and Chair Lesley Blair.

“Some do not even require you to read the training manuals they provide you with.”

The report found that 39% of freelance hairdressers or beauty therapists have already obtained their training from unregulated short courses. But BABTAC believes this percentage will soon skyrocket.

“Greater levels of female unemployment, redundancies in the beauty sector and the appeal of ‘working for yourself’ are making short beauty courses more attractive than ever before,” adds Blair.

“As a result we are predicting a real surge in some, potentially very dangerous, short courses over coming months.”

The BABTAC CEO continues: “Short beauty courses are not a new concept and in fact, when properly governed, they are an excellent way for qualified beauty therapists to upskill and broaden their offering, through continual professional development, or alternatively for those just starting out in the sector to gain an understanding of the different services available.

“Some stand-alone short courses – provided they meet the industry standard – do provide sufficient training to practice, but generally this will apply to more basic treatment modules.”

To help therapists select high-standard short courses, BABTAC has launched a Find Beauty Training platform at as part of its drive to improve regulation in the industry.

Amid its call for more stringent regulation of aesthetic non-surgical treatments, BABTAC is also pushing for the establishment of a mandatory register of practitioners and to bring better mental health awareness into beauty therapist training.

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